Within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office (HFTO) supports manufacturing research and development (R&D) activities to improve processes and reduce the cost of components and systems for hydrogen production, delivery, and storage over the range of fuel cell application areas, including stationary, portable, and transportation.
Why Study Manufacturing?
Increasing production of today's hydrogen and fuel cell components and systems from laboratory-scale fabrication technologies to high-volume products can have significant challenges. HFTO addresses the challenge of moving today’s technologies from the laboratory to high-volume, pre-commercial manufacturing and works to drive down the cost of hydrogen and fuel cell systems.
Research investments are made to reduce the cost of components currently used or planned for use, as well as overall processing times. Progress toward targets is measured in terms of reducing the cost to produce fuel cells and electrolyzers, increasing manufacturing processing rates, and growing manufacturing capacity.
Research and Development Goals
HFTO funds R&D projects to enable development of manufacturing technologies and processes of hydrogen and fuel cell components in parallel with technology development while fostering a strong domestic supplier base. Specific manufacturing R&D goals are to:
- Develop manufacturing techniques to reduce the cost of fuel cell stacks at high volume (500,000 units per year) to meet key targets. For Class 8 long-haul trucks the key metrics include fuel cell lifetime durability (i.e., 25,000–35,000 hours), fuel cell system cost ($60–$80/kWh), fuel cell efficiency (68%–72%), and hydrogen fill rate (8–10 kg/min average). See Hydrogen Program Record 19006, Technical Targets for Hydrogen-Fueled Long-Haul Tractor-Trailer Trucks.
- Support efforts to reduce the cost of manufacturing components and systems to reduce the cost of producing hydrogen to $1 per 1 kilogram by 2032, and delivering and dispensing hydrogen for <$2/kg (untaxed, delivered, and dispensed).
Additional information about current manufacturing R&D activities can be found in the Manufacturing R&D section of HFTO's Multi-Year Research, Development, and Demonstration Plan and through other related links.
Development Assistance Opportunity for Roll-to-Roll Advanced Energy Materials Manufacturing
In 2017 the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office announced a call for cooperative research and development agreements (CRADAs) between national laboratories and industrial partners to address roll-to-roll (R2R) manufacturing challenges that will allow rapid transfer of manufacturing and processing technologies from the lab to the plant floor, resulting in less costly and more energy efficient products entering the marketplace. A U.S. Department of Energy laboratory consortium composed of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory was formed to enhance battery and fuel cell electrode performance, processing of water, and R2R manufacturing technologies using an advanced materials manufacturing approach. View more information about the solicitation.
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